SpaceX aims to launch Kikina along with one Japanese and two Americans as early as Oct. 3.
The new arrivals will replace astronauts living up there since early spring; the crew size eventually will settle back to seven.
Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti said the view of the launch from the space station was "spectacular." She tweeted stunning photos of the glowing limb of the Earth and the rocket's zigzagging white contrail.
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.